Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Action Comics #10

Action Comics #10

Cover date: March 1939

Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Joe Shuster

Reviewed by: Micah Nichols

The story starts off with a man calling the Daily Star requesting a reporter be sent to 18 Hogan Street for a story that will make headlines. Doubting, the Editor sends Kent to this story. When Kent arrives he is told to step in quickly as he's told he will get a story of terror, cruelty and shocking brutality if Clark agrees not to reveal his name. After Clark agrees the man removes his shirt revealing welts and lashes. Clark quickly asks where he got them. The man says they receive all sorts of bad treatment at the Corey Town Prison. The man (who reveals himself as the widely sought fugitive Walter Crane) wants Clark to tell the story of the prison to the public in hopes for a reform. Clark agrees to help.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Wyman is beating a prisoner when the Governor arrives. He quickly hides the prisoner until the Governor leaves. The Governor came to address the Daily Star's claims that the conditions at the prison are decaying. Wyman claims it's a lie and the Governor makes it clear that it better be. After the Governor leaves, Wyman realizes that Walter Crane is the ONLY way the paper could know this information.

Two days later Wyman shows up to the Daily Star demanding a retraction. The Editor says that they received the information from an authoritative source and that if he wanted to sue to go right ahead because it would make a good story in their paper! Wyman demands to talk to Kent who is quickly called into the office. He demands to know where Walter Crane is staying. Kent conforms to his cowardly disguise and blurts out where Walter is staying after a few threats about pressing charges for harboring a fugitive. When they get there Wyman immediately punches Walter in the face. Clark holds his head below his shoulders as Wyman takes Walter back to the prison, continuously punching him.

When Clark gets back the whole office is against him, including Lois and the Editor. Clark explains to the Editor that now he can get proof of Wyman's behavior. He suggests going down to Coreytown and getting photographs and testimonies.

The first step in Superman's plan is to get put in jail. He drives a car straight into superintendent Wyman's and punches him, claiming it was his fault. After going to jail Superman takes all the beatings and does all the work without sweat, the guards are amazed. At night he leaps out of the prison to get his Superman clothes and a camera, but meanwhile Walter Crane escapes and gets stuck in quicksand where Superman spots him. Walter faints and is brought back to the prison by Superman where he takes photos of Wyman breaking the law and beating prisoners. Superman grabs Wyman by the collar and shoves his face in a plate of the slop he makes the prisoners eat. Superman puts him in a small cage and dashes off stating that he would be back. Superman grabs the Governor during his sleep and takes him to see Wyman in the prison, forcing him to confess. Later the Editor apologizes to Clark seeing the full scope of his plan paid off in the long run.

4Story - 4: I must say I LOVE how these early comics do such a great job of building a story around both news reporter Clark Kent AND Superman. This issue shows how Superman is out to protect EVERYONE. I also liked that we saw another triple disguise.

5Art - 5: The art was very clear and detailed. We didn't have a bunch of repeat characters this time around. All-in-all it was great.

4Cover Art - 4/5: The cover is very well done. Superman is still not "flying" in the traditional sense, but they are doing more and more with him in the sky. This cover shows him "owning" the air as he smashes this plane. My only issue is it looks like he is standing, they still haven't got the natural look to flight.

Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews



  • Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - “The Mightiest Team in the World”
  • Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - “Superman's Lost Brother”
  • Superman 3D (1953) - “The Man Who Stole the Sun”, “Origin of Superman” and “The Man Who Bossed Superman”
  • Superman #87 (February 1954) - “The Prankster's Greatest Role”
  • Superman #88 (March 1954) - “The Terrible Trio”
  • Superman #89 (May 1954) - “Captain Kent the Terrible”, “Superman of Skid Row”, and “One Hour to Doom!”
  • Superman #91 (August 1954) - “The Superman Stamp” and “Great Caesar's Ghost”
  • World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - “Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes”
  • Superman #115 (August 1957) - “The Midget Superman!”
  • Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - “The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse”
  • Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - “The Super-Duel in Space”
  • Superman #123 (August 1958) - “The Girl of Steel”
  • Superman #127 (February 1959) - “Titano the Super Ape”
  • Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - “The Menace of Metallo” and “The Supergirl From Krypton”
  • Superman #129 (May 1959) - “The Girl in Superman's Past”
  • Superman #130 (July 1959) - “The Curse of Kryptonite!”, “The Super-Servant of Crime!”, and “The Town that Hated Superman!”
  • Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - “Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal”




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